"Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature can not do without." ~Confucius

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Practice Rhyming in Song

Remember Raffi? He's done more than just "Baby Beluga," my friends....
He did a fun rendition of "Down By the Bay" and it's been one of our favorite songs to sing around here because of its inherent silliness with the rhyming options (my boys' favorite characteristic) and its musicality (mommy's favorite characteristic).

Not familiar with this tune? Check it out Here.
Not the best video for its creative genius, but it'll teach you the song. :-)

This song allows your child to place rhyming words at the end that involve an animal doing something silly (like... "did you ever see some llamas eating their pajamas?").

So, gather kiddos and teach them the song. I actually find some of the best times to teach kids these songs is when we're not doing anything musical.... like getting ready for bed, driving in the car, getting dressed in the morning, cleaning up toys, etc...

It's a little tedious to have the kids hold the end of each phrase (down by the baaaaaaaay, where the watermelons grooooooooow....) without some cool guitar accompaniment, so I had the boys clap 4 times after each line.
Down by the bay (clap, clap, clap, clap)
Where the watermelons grow (clap, clap, clap, clap)...

I happened to find this great game at a consignment store:
From the above box, I selected combos of an animal and their rhyme that would work in the song (like... Did you ever see a fox hiding in a box?)
You don't need an official game though, you could simply print off pictures of rhyming words or look in your Memory Game box for some rhyming pics that would work... You don't need very many pairs - as many as you think your child will enjoy.

First, the boys had to match the rhyming pairs. Neither kiddo is reading yet, so mommy helped a lot; they did do good with hearing the matching sounds.

We chose three groups at a time to put with the song.
First we sang through the whole song for each pair.
Down by the bay (clap, clap, clap, clap)
"...Did you ever see a snake using a rake, down by the bay?"

But, you could also just sing the song once then stick all the rhymes in sequence at the end (which is what we did after the first round because boys were getting a bit rowdy to get outside...)

Ex: "Did you ever see a snail, reading the mail? Did you ever see a goat riding in a boat? Did you ever see a dog playing with a frog, down by the bay?"

Have fun with rhyming and rhythm and singing all in one activity! Yippee!


  1. Again, Marji. . .wonderful!! Wonderful!!!

    Thought I'd throw in a couple of notes as well; before you knew me, I did a "singable library" for the public school I taught in. There are some great picture books based on rhyming children's songs that you (and your readers!) might enjoy.

    In addition, one of my 5 kiddos was a very slow reader - didn't start until age 7. That was the child who could. not. rhyme. We spent a few months working on rhyming songs and sound games, and suddenly reading just clicked! You really can't underestimate the importance of preschoolers knowing how rhymes work.

    Your blog is WONDERFUL! Keep up the great work!

  2. Thanks Heather! Is that a specific series of books, or just random ones of children's rhymes? I'd love to see if my library has them or track them down some other way.
    Thanks for the encouragement, oh you great-mighty-music-teacher-and bassoonist-and mommy-teacher! :-)